I’m not going into detail about the research of Prof. Dr. Stuart McGill, but I’ll just briefly present a stiffness-related finding. In the field of breakdance.
One of the key findings of McGill’s research is that in a well performing core, the core muscles can become stiff and protect the lumbar spine whenever needed. I’ve been reading and exercising a lot into this lately. Yes exercising. Going on the floor and do workout. 25 minutes every day, 5 days a week, for 8 consecutive months now. My learning is very entertaining as well as improving my skills in my full-time practice as a Feldenkrais practitioner.
Today I found this neat little animated gif:
Look at the first move. Very stunning spring-like action! I extracted the single frames:
And I was particularly interested in frames 18,19, and 20:
Because this shows the extraordinary talent of such a guy: he comes down to the floor with a flexed spine, rolling to the floor. The spine is not loaded. But then, when he get’s up, he stiffens his torso! Thus protecting his lumbar spine from the high load that would otherwise be an injury mechanism. Very fast from relaxed to very stiff. Beautiful to watch, isn’t it?